Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Gov’t backs down on ‘samdech’ directive



Gov’t backs down on ‘samdech’ directive

Prime Minister Hun Sen speaks at the 25th World Economic Forum in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur earlier this year. AFP
Prime Minister Hun Sen speaks at the 25th World Economic Forum in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur earlier this year. AFP

Gov’t backs down on ‘samdech’ directive

Prime Minister Hun Sen has U-turned on a directive to media outlets to use the honorific “samdech”, less than a day after the Ministry of Information issued a final warning to non-complying media.

In a comment on his Facebook page on Friday, Hun Sen wrote: “The exact title of a government leader is not necessarily required when writing if the media don’t want to use it. But please write in a way that respects the code of ethics and with proper sources in order to avoid inaccurate information.”

The change of heart came a day after Global Witness published a new report exposing the prime minister’s family’s vast business empire.

Ministry of Information spokesman Ouk Kimseng confirmed the title “samdech”, meaning “outstanding leadership and love from the people”, was no longer to be imposed by the government.

Cambodian Centre for Independent Media executive director Pa Nuong Thea welcomed the move, saying forcing journalists to use “samdech” violated their freedom of choice.

Additional reporting by Vong Sokheng

MOST VIEWED

  • Would you like fries with that? US burger chain makes Phnom Penh debut

    California-based The Habit Burger Grill restaurant chain is all set to serve up a delicious array of charbroiled burgers and sides at its newest international location in the centre of Phnom Penh. The Habit is “renowned for its award-winning Charburgers grilled over an open flame,

  • Banteay Meanchey flood victims receive aid

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday provided aid to more than 10,000 families affected by flooding in Banteay Meanchey province’s Mongkol Borei district and offered his condolences to the 18 victims who drowned in the province over the past week. He said flooding had occured in

  • Phnom Penh underpass opens to ease traffic

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced a temporary opening of the 488m underpass at the Chaom Chao roundabout in Phnom Penh’s Por Sen Chey district, which was recently completed to connect traffic from National Road 4 to Russian Federation Blvd. The move is to reduce

  • PM urges caution as Polish man tests positive for Covid

    The Ministry of Health on Wednesday reported that a 47-year-old Polish man tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving in Cambodia on Monday. There are a total of six Covid-19 patients currently in the country, all of whom are being treated at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital

  • Banteay Meanchey floods kill one more as death toll reaches 15

    As floodwaters start to recede in Pursat, Battambang and Pailin provinces and Phnom Penh, Banteay Meanchey continues to bear the brunt as one more person was killed on Monday, bringing the total number of flood-related deaths to 15 in the province this month. Banteay Meanchey provincial

  • Serving coffee with a side of robots

    The eye-catching glass building surrounded by greenery at the intersection of Streets 371 and 2002 in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district is more than just another coffee shop where you can while away a few hours. UrHobby House cafe is filled with robots and characters from